The past couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about balance in my life. I only have 2 kids, yet my to-do and my want-to-do lists seem to be poured out by bucket loads. I think I am a perfectionist. I take that back, I KNOW that I am a perfectionist- to a fault. My house has to be spotless, I have to work out, I have to make meals, I have to have clean kids, I have to have time to play with my kids, I have to have time to be with Josh so we can feel close, I have to have time to myself, etc...etc.... I have yet to figure out the balance issue because I simply don't want to give on anything.
I have found that for me, the things that should be the definites in my daily routine- such as sincere prayers and scriptures study are most often the ones that I "give" on. I do them....I just do them while completely distracted with another thing or I pray distracted for 1 minute rattling off the same old things, and I read for 5-10 minutes while thinking about the next thing I have to check off on my to-do list.
I read this book called, "A Mother's Book of Secrets" this past summer, and pulled it out again this week and read something that hit me like a ton of bricks because it is exactly what I am going through. Shawni (one of the authors) was quoting Chieko N. Okazaki from an address she gave called "Lighten Up!" She said:
"Suppose the Savior comes to visit you. You've rushed around and vacuumed the guest room, put the best sheets on the bed, even got some tulips in a vase on the dresser. Jesus looks around the room, then says, 'Oh, thank you for inviting me into your home. Please tell me about your life.'
"You say, 'I will in just a minute, but something's boiling over on the stove, and I need to let the cat out.'
"Jesus says, 'I know a lot about cats and stoves. I'll come with you.'
"Oh, no, you say, 'I couldn't let you do that.' And you rush out, carefully closing the door behind you.
"And while you are turning down the stove, the phone rings, and then Jason comes in with a scape on his elbow, and the visiting teaching supervisor calls for your report, and then it's suppertime, and you couldn't possibly have Jesus see that you don't even have placemats, for Pete's sake, and someone forgot to turn on the dishwasher so that you're eating off paper plates, and then you have to drive Lynne to her basketball game. So by the time you get back to the room where Jesus is still patiently waiting for you, you're so tired that you can barely keep your eyes open--let alone sit worshipfully at Jesus feet to wait for those words of profound wisdom and spiritual power to wash over you, to make you different, to make everything else different--and you fall asleep while whispering, 'I'm sorry. I'll try to do better. I'm so sorry" (in Women and Christ: Living the Abundant Life, 6).
This describes my dilemma perfectly. I rush around all day saying "after "X" I'll say a good prayer and read my scriptures" and right after I've done "X" Shaffer has a poopy diaper, and then Logan needs to be fed, and then it's my chance to work out and then shower. Then as soon as I'm done showering Logan is up from a nap and Shaffer has to be fed because he is screaming his head off, and before I know it my whole day is up and the only prayers I've offered are in 30 second increments when I'm pleading for sanity and I keep saying, "Heavenly Father, 5 more minutes and then I'll pray". And He sits there waiting patiently for me, willing to help and all I need to do is get on my knees and ask for it.
And so....if there are any imperfect people out there, like me, who need a little challenge to make saying sincere prayers & studying the scriptures a priority...even if it's the only thing we get done that day...then here it is. This is my goal & my challenge. You're welcome to join me. I know I need it! I know I need Him!